Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Don't Get It

There are several things I don't understand about the following story from TV Newser:
Sources tell TVNewser CNN anchor Rick Sanchez got in some hot water last week after a segment on his midday show looked into the Alaskan Independence Party. The segment discussed Todd Palin's seven-year membership in the group. It turns out not only was the McCain campaign peeved, but sources tell us Sanchez and his EP got a talking-to from the bosses, too.

Well, yesterday Sanchez and his producers had scheduled an interview with the McCain campaign's Maryland chairman, Daniel Zubairi. At a McCain rally this weekend, Zubairi, who is Muslim, was trying to calm other Muslim voters after they'd been confronted by a McCain supporter who was telling rally-goers about Barack Obama's "Islamic background."

The exchange was caught on tape by Davin Hutchins, a producer from the American News Project

Zubairi had been scheduled to appear on Sanchez's show Monday to discuss what happened at the rally. Sanchez tells HuffPo's Sam Stein the campaign pulled Zubairi at the last minute.

"Wouldn't you think they would have wanted him to come on?" Sanchez asks. "What the guy did was courageous. I called him heroic. I'm mystified why they wouldn't embrace him for his actions."

Video of Zubairi and others confronting anti-Muslim McCain supporters:

1. I don't understand how a journalist can be reprimanded for doing a legitimate investigative report that pertains to a national election. Why would he be taken to task for it by his supervisors? How is that excusable? How is it in their interest to suppress such a segment?

2. Why would the punishment be to pull a guest that would have brought the McCain campaign good press? What benefit is this to McCain? It seems suspicious to me. Wouldn't they want to laud their efforts to silence the crazier supporters? And if not, why not? To me, it seems indicative of a desire to a) avoid losing the fringe nuts and b) allow them to continue their slander, which is abhorrent.


David Morris said...

yeah, it seems like maybe there's some missing info in the article.

as for the first point, i could imagine some scenarios in which CNN wouldn't want that sort of story on the air...for example, maybe back when Michelle Obama was under fire for her "for the first time in my life I'm proud of America" comment, CNN made a decision not to focus on the beliefs of candidates' spouses, only the candidates themselves (there is no evidence that Palin herself supports or is sympathetic to Alaskan independence). This story would have violated that standard. But of course, that's hypothetical--we just don't know the reason why CNN didn't want the story aired.

As for the second point, it seems to me that the mccain campaign in general doesn't want to keep the story alive by having surrogates talking about it. even though it is a story that reflects well on the campaign, it still draws attention to the fact that there are batty racist mccain supporters, which i'm sure the mccain campaign views as a distraction from its "message" (whatever that is these days). sort of a "don't think of pink elephants" thing.

or something? i dunno

David Morris said...

oh, by the way, i think it's funny that one thing you and Sullivan have in common is that you dig beards: